John F. Vodopia PC is an intellectual property (IP) law firm  that provides various services to meet clients’ various IP needs, for example, patent preparation, patent prosecution (including Reissues, Appeals and Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs)), patent filing (both in the US and internationally) patent licensing, patent litigation, searching to vet or clear proposed trademarks, filing trademark applications (both in the US and internationally) and trademark litigation  (both in the federal district courts and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB)).

John F. Vodopia PC operates under the premise that clients need not only a strong IP product, e.g., patents with the broadest claims available under the law, or a solid trademark coined to accumulate goodwill (i.e., value) with use in commerce over time, but that clients also need to realize IP assets and protection in the most cost-effective way possible, to avoiding draining the clients’ financial resources, particularly in the start-up phase.

For example, it may be prudent and pragmatic to prepare and file a provisional patent application, with reliance upon minimal attorney efforts and, therefore cost, in lieu of a full, non-provisional utility patent application.  Non-provisional utility applicants take a significant amount of attorney time and effort to attend to the details required to realize a quality patent that can withstand a challenge to its validity, which challenges are likely if the patent is ever used as a sword against an infringer.  A provisional patent application is somewhat informal in comparison, but sufficient to “buy” the applicant one year before it needs to be evolved into a non-provisional utility patent application, deriving its filing date from the provisional, under the law.  What is most important with a provisional application is that it discloses the invention (by way of text and drawings) to enable a person of ordinary skill in the applicable art to understand that the inventor had possession of the invention, at the time the provisional is filed, as the invention is eventually claimed in the non-provisional utility patent application.

Typically, that one year period between the date the provisional application is filed and the date the non-provisional utility patent application is filed, at any time up to one year later, is leveraged by the applicant to raise money to pay the costs for preparing and filing the non-provisional utility patent application (e.g., finding a financial backer) or by finding a corporate entity with a presence in the market related to the invention disclosed by the provisional application who wishes to purchase or license the pending patent application.

So how can one of the attorneys identified herein support preparing a provisional patent application with minimal cost?  Well, the inventor(s) can provide a small retainer that covers 2, 3 or 4 hours (plus the cost of filing and the fee of $65 or $130), whereinafter the inventor(s) and attorney will schedule a time where they can work together in an online session to get the inventive concept and variations down on paper.  That is, the inventor(s) and attorney spend the retained time together concurrently using any one of a web-hosting services such as Go To Meeting or FUZE, where the attorney controls the commonly viewed desktop with the text file, drawing file(s), search results and related patents uncovered thereby.  At the end of the arranged time window, the provisional application should be ready (or very close to being ready) for filing.  Thereafter, the attorney will file and forward the electronic filing receipt with the patent pending serial no.

Moreover, there are steps to take to ensure protection for trademarks that are in use already, which allow the owner to postpone filing applications to register until some future date, where funds are more readily available.  The same principle applies for copyright protection, that is, one might postpone filing to for a US copyright Registration for a valuable work such as a website’s content, until that time that the registration is actually needed, nevertheless maintaining rights to same.

As is apparent in the attorney bio’s, Mr. Vodopia and the other attorneys who operate as “of counsel” to John F. Vodopia PC have extensive patent experience in the electrical and computer software arts (telephony), the medical arts (e.g., medical imaging systems, devices and software) and the mechanical arts (e.g., agricultural harvesting systems).